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Introduction to Aesthetics

An Analytic Approach

George Dickie

Publication Date - January 1997

ISBN: 9780195113044

208 pages
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $79.99

A unique and engaging text on the history of aesthetics


This unique and engaging text traces aesthetics from its ancient beginnings through the changes it underwent in the eighteenth, nineteenth, and the first half of the twentieth century. The first part of the book traces the history of the two organized notions of aesthetics-the theory of beauty and the imitation theory of art-and describes the transformations they went through from ancient Greek times until the 1950s. The responses of the cultural theories in the 1960s to these earlier developments are then discussed in detail. Four additional topics-intentionalistic criticism, symbolism, metaphor, and expression-are also addressed. Finally, five traditional art evaluational theories are presented, and the author constructs an evaluational theory of his own by building on ideas drawn from the work of Monroe Beardsley and Nelson Goodman.
Written by one of the foremost philosophers of aesthetics, Introduction to Aesthetics is ideal for undergraduate courses in the philosophy of art and aesthetics, and is also suitable for graduate seminars and courses in these areas. It offers students both a historical introduction to and the latest work on theories of art, theories of the experience of art, and theories of art evaluation.

About the Author(s)

George Dickie is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy at University of Illinois, Chicago. He is the author of The Century of Taste (OUP, 1996), Aesthetics: A Critical Anthology, Second Edition (co-editor, 1989), Evaluating Art (1988), The Art Circle: A Theory of Art (1984), and Art and the Aesthetic (1974).

Table of Contents

    PART 1 - An Historical Introduction to Analytic Aesthetics
    1. Introductory Remarks
    2. The Theory of Beauty - Plato to the 19th Century
    Plato - St. Thomas Aquinas - The Eighteenth Century: Taste and the Decline of Beauty - Shaftesbury - Hutcheson - Burke - Hume - Alison - Kant - Summary - The Nineteenth Century: The Birth of the Aesthetic - Schopenhauer
    3. The Aesthetic Attitude in the 20th Century
    The Aesthetic State: Psychical Distance - Aesthetic Awareness: Disinterested Attention - Aesthetic Perception: "Seeing As" - Summary and Conclusions
    4. Metacriticism: Alternative to Aesthetic Attitude
    5. The Theory of Art - Plato to the 19th Century
    Introductory Remarks - Plato - Aristotle - The Nineteenth Century: New Directions - The Expression Theory of Art - What Is a Theory of Art?
    6. 20th Century Theories of Art, 1914 to the 1950s
    Clive Bell: A 20th Century Beauty Theory of Art
    Suzanne Langer: A 20th Century Imitation Theory of Art
    R. G. Collingwood: A 20th Century Expressionist Theory of Art
    Morris Weitz: Art as an Open Concept
    PART II - Aesthetics in the 20th Century - 1960s to Present
    7. A Change of Directions and New Developments
    A New Direction for the Experience of Art
    A New Direction for the Theory of Art
    8. The Institutional Theory of Art
    The Earlier Version - The Later Version
    PART III - Four Problems in Aesthetics
    9. Intentionalist Criticism
    10. Symbolism in Art
    11. Metaphor
    12. Expression
    PART IV - The Evaluation of Art
    13. 20th Century Theories of Evaluation
    Personal Subjectivism - Intuitionism - Emotivism - Relativism - Critical Singularism
    14. Monroe Beardsley's Instrumentalism
    15. Nelson Goodman's Instrumentalism
    16. Another Kind of Instrumentalism

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